Time is ticking away for the world’s effort to avoid an apocalyptic catastrophe as Donald Trump takes the US Presidency, according to a group of scientists.
The hand on the Doomsday Clock, a symbol of how close the world is to meltdown, has been moved 30 seconds closer to midnight. The time now is the rather inelegant 11:57:30, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
The clock has not been this close to midnight since 1953, when the US and Soviet Union both tested thermonuclear weapons as the Cold War began in earnest.
The scientists (who include 15 Nobel prize-winners among their number) have pointed to the beliefs of Trump as a major reason for the rise in danger to the world.
Trump has made “disturbing comments about the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons and expressed disbelief in the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change", the group said.
The man in charge of the biggest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world said in a tweet the US “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes".
The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016
Although the threat of climate change is “somewhat less dismal” than in past years, the lack of efforts to cut emissions to the degree necessary has left little optimism.
Trump has contributed even further to the despair. He has said the existential threat from climate change is a hoax designed by the Chinese government to harm US industry.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
Furthermore, the people Trump has appointed to key roles in the fight against climate change have in the past expressed scepticism towards climate science. The climate change section of the White House website was removed as Trump was inaugurated.
The scientists also said the alleged campaign of misinformation by Russia during the US general election had undermined democracy and “made the world more dangerous than was the case a year ago".